Monday, October 29, 2012

Extratropical Storm Sandy: October 29, Update A

Definitely a two-wine-glass sort of a day! The good, the bad, and the downright-not-very-pretty-at-all!

First though, a big thank you for the reports and photos that came in throughout the day from Maryland, New Jersey and New York – via email, facebook, twitter!! I know it is not over yet with high tide on its way, but I am glad you are all more-or-less ok!

‘Hurricane’ Sandy made landfall at around 5pm this evening (according to the satellite images – the visible and infrared grabbed at 5.30pm are below  - and around 8pm according to the NHC/radar images), with the center going over southern New Jersey, about 5 miles south of Atlantic City.

Winds were officially 80mph at landfall. Interestingly, the National Weather Service station in Atlantic City (north of landfall) recorded a high wind speed of 38mph today and Cape May (NJ, south of landfall) showed winds of almost 60mph (with stronger gusts) – this shows that the strongest winds were most likely on the southern side of the storm, which where Sandy and that low pressure front merged. Central pressure was 947mb. These wind speeds were really a consequence of the front more than the hurricane/tropical storm.

Officially the winds are still 80mph, but she really isn’t a hurricane. The NHC said (in the 5pm advisory) that she was already extratropical, but they would continue their advisories until she made landfall. They anticipate their last advisory to be at 11pm tonight. They have re-classified her as a post-tropical system already (extratropical). For those still being impacted, and those that will be impacted as she moves inland and heads north, the Hydrometeorological Prediction Center will pick up on the advisories beginning tomorrow morning. For those who are north of New Jersey, there is, unfortunately, more to come… more wind and flooding tonight and tomorrow.

Her ‘center’ is now at 39.6N, 74.6W, and she’s heading WNW at about 21mph. She will move inland and head north tomorrow. The not-so-great-news is that her winds will continue to blow water on-shore in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, and places north for the next few hours/day. From tides online, the highest surge is now around Manhattan and Connecticut. It is currently greater than 9ft above normal at The Battery in NY, and 10ft above normal at Kings Point in Long Island Sound, NY. New Haven, CT, is showing over 8.5 ft above normal. High tide this evening means that the Battery will have water levels of over 14ft, Kings Point will probably be 14-15ft, and New Haven will be around 14ft!

A complete smorgasbord of reports and images from the day (from south to north):

Beach erosion on the east coast of Florida was quite severe:

Photo of steps that, three days ago, went down to the beach. Thanks to Mitch R. from Florida!

The Bounty, a beautiful replica of the original wooden sailing vessel, sank off North Carolina today. It started taking on water as Sandy went by overnight. The U.S. Coast Guard rescued 14 of the 16 people on-board, recovered one and the last I heard, the Captain was still missing. She was en route to her winter home port in St. Petersburg, Florida. I am not sure why they were out there!

Chris M., just north of DC at 6.23pm: “so far we are OK. We've had about 5 inches of rain where we are just north of DC. However, I've got to say that having a hurricane with air temps of 42 deg is just NOT right. Hope you are enjoying some wine… ” … which translates as ‘have some wine’. Oh, ok. If you insist! Glad you are ok!

Also from New Jersey, stellar reporting throughout the day from Laura S., who was very close to the landfall location! The dock I showed yesterday was completely submerged this morning, with water coming up to houses (photos from Laura S.):

 Around 9pm: “Water up to the garage, 3 plus hours to high tide… the house will start to flood shortly and so long to my jeep which I just love. Saving grace, dogs are safe and sound on the second story.” (They moved the other cars to higher ground and kept the jeep in case they needed to get out in an emergency). They are on the Mullica River. Be careful!

From Sameer in New York City. 3.10pm: “A crane near top of highrise construction site being built in midtown is toppling from high height. Could fall to ground. Haven’t felt any crazy gusts yet. Rain is minimum.” (I’m sure the photos are all over the news, so I won’t even bother including this). 7.30pm: “Ok, the wind is here. Limited rain, but the wind is bad.” 8.46pm: “We just lost power.”  Consolidated Power shut off power to Lower Manhattan around 9pm, but I think equipment failure before that lead to power loss in Greenwich Village and Lower Manhattan (photo credit unknown!):

There are also reports of seawater in the subway and definitely in the tunnels this evening.  

Stay safe… stay indoors and wait it out!
More tomorrow!

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DISCLAIMER: These remarks are just what I think/see regarding tropical storms - not the opinion of any organization I represent. If you are making an evacuation decision, please heed your local emergency management and the National Hurricane Center's official forecast and the National Weather Service announcements. This is not an official forecast. If I "run away, run away" (Monty Python), I'll let you know.

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